Across The Way With
August 30, 2021

Shimmer (Rotterdam) and PUBLICS (Helsinki) present Across The Way With... an informal online reading aloud program on intimacy in the public domain. Launched in May 2020, with a growing list of readers from Finland, The Netherlands and across the world.

In Lauren Berlant’s essay Intimacy: A Special Issue, she tells us that everyone thinks they know how to do intimacy, but it is something that is quickly misinterpreted. Intimacy is troubling, fleeting, and challenging to speak about— and more especially to enact. Shimmer and PUBLICS explore intimacy’s obscurity by welcoming words of artists, poets, philosophers, curators, and others from Finland, The Netherlands and around the world. To bring our guests and audience together through multifaceted subjects in a time where racism, war, and greed infiltrates our lives, public intimacy becomes a political act of openness. We intend to challenge intimacy and go beyond the conventional understanding of intimacy as ‘only’ the ‘personal’. Instead, the program considers intimacy as a means to re-think the community and how ‘we’ modern humans in a digitized society engage in the care of one another.

We’re thinking about the texture of the voice, the rhythm of a body, the poetic and artistic methods of writing and how these forms of intimacy can be ‘voiced’ publically. Together we will create a space that is both public and intimate, digital and analogue, distant and in proximity. We choose to create an online platform as a support for the act of reading aloud for others and with others. For the audience it is the intimate act of being read to, it is the intimacy of the texture of the voice, the rhythms of breathing, the digitised voice streaming to you. In this way, rather than creating a ‘reading group’ for discussion, we will create a space of the phone in the pocket, heard on the tram, the laptop taken to bed, at work, in the kitchen. We’re thinking about the platform as a resource, a place available to contemplate, to flesh out the possibilities of access, a site that goes beyond our networks, and walls.

PUBLICS is a curatorial agency with a dedicated library, event space and reading room in Vallila Helsinki, known for its industrial working class histories and, more recently, for its influx of divergent artistic and academic communities. Under the artistic direction of curator Paul O’Neill, with program manager and curator Eliisa Suvanto, PUBLICS explores a “work together” institutional model with multiple overlapping objectives, thematic strands and collaborations. PUBLICS is a constellation of practices, projects and productions. As such, PUBLICS proposes the term “Public” as always plural—as a concept; as a group of people (imagined, actualized or real); and as a contested spatio-temporal location/discourse in the world. The on-going project strands of PUBLICS are: PUBLICS Library; PUBLICS Talks; and PUBLICS Events and Performances. These initiatives will evolve in time and in parallel with the project’s longer-term curatorial programmes, PUBLICS Public Art Commissions. IN @publicsfi FB @Publicsfi W www.publics.fi

RUTH BUCHANAN is an artist from Aotearoa New Zealand who lives in Berlin. She works across exhibition making, writing, design, publishing, and teaching. Her work draws out the contested and dynamic relationship between the body, power, language and the archive. This process of contesting often relates closely to the types of relationships that standardised infrastructures, such as archives, libraries and museums create between our bodies and society at large and actively asks how these relationships could be otherwise. Recent and forthcoming projects include exhibitions Heute nacht getraumt, Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart, and The scene in which I find myself / Or, where does my body belong, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Ngamotu New Plymouth; editorial projects Uneven Bodies (reader) including contributions from Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Gabi Ngcobo, and Tina Barton, and www.evacuationtapes.net including contributions from Anna Gritz and Sriwhana Spong; and MIDNIGHT / WORKER a sculpture in public space realised with the Neue Afftrageber.
Across The Way With
July 26, 2021

DR. MKWESHA is currently a researcher and teaches a Contemporary Research: Decolonising Knowledge at Helsinki University, Swedish School of Social Sciences, Centre of Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN), Finland. Her PhD is on gender and the nation in Africa from Stellenbosch university, South Africa. She is an expert on representation and discourse analysis in African literature and culture and society. Her research interests are African studies, literary and cultural studies, race and ethnic relations, from a decolonial, postcolonial, black feminist and gender perspectives. She also teaches Black and African feminisms, African sexuality, Decolonial feminisms and Decolonising Development in Africa. She is also a social justice activist who founded Sahwira Africa International NGO working with migrant and Finnish youth on culture and arts from an anti/racist approach focusing on resistance, survival, thriving and transformation. She does anti/racism activism launching online petitions to influence policy and initiate discussions on representation and racism. She initiated and led successful campaigns against racism, discrimination, problematic and stereotypical representation of black people and Africa to advocate for change and influence policy in these successful online campaigns. She has worked in universities in Zimbabwe and South Africa as a lecturer and administrator. She is an African, Zimbabwean living and working in Finland.

SASHA HUBER (1975, CH/FI) is a visual artist of Swiss-Haitian heritage, born in Zurich, Switzerland. She lives and works in Helsinki, Finland together with her family. Huber's work is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to colonial residue left in the environment. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice that encompasses performance-based interventions, video, photography, and collaborations. Huber is also claiming the compressed-air staple gun, aware of its symbolic significance as a weapon while offering the potential to renegotiate unequal power dynamics, and started to refer to those artworks as pain-things. She is known for her artistic research contribution to the Demounting Louis Agassiz campaign, aiming at dismantling the glaciologist’s lesser-known but contentious racist heritage. This long-term project (since 2008) has been concerned with unearthing and redressing the little-known history and cultural legacies of the Swiss-born naturalist and glaciologist Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), an influential proponent of “scientific” racism who advocated for segregation and “racial hygiene”. Huber has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015, the 19th Sydney Biennial in 2014. Huber will start her first solo exhibition tour under the title You Name It. The tour begins at Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam. The exhibition tour is commissioned by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and Autograph in London.

AMALLE DUBLON's writing has appeared in GLQ, Artpapers, and TDR: The Drama Review. They have exhibited artwork at Artists Space, NY, and ARGOS, Berlin. Amalle helped organize I Wanna Be with You Everywhere, a gathering of disabled artists, in 2019. They teach at the New School.

SANDRAنور WAZAZ is a DJ and artist working in video and installation. They were a 2020 fellow at Art Beyond Sight’s Art and Disability residency program and have exhibited at The 8th Floor, NY and Nook Gallery, Oakland, CA. Sandra lives in Brooklyn with their cat, Bean. This video is accompanied with an On The Waves with Sandraنور Wazaz playlist.

Across The Way With
May 31, 2021

MIA YOU was born in Seoul, South Korea, grew up in Northern California, and now lives in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Her first full-length collection is I, Too, Dislike It (1913 Press, 2016), which Rachel Levitsky calls, “a companion, an aria to bodily discomfort and impossibility.” Lisa Robertson writes in The Brooklyn Rail, “That the gently derided ‘small drama of my suburban-middle-class-Korean-American life / makes poetry’ aligns You’s documentary project with mentors such as Mayer, Rankine, and Hejinian, and younger contemporaries such as Susan Briante.” You’s poems also have appeared as a chapbook, Objective Practice (Achiote Press, 2007), and an artist’s book, YOU (created by Thorsten Kiefer, 2004). She currently teaches creative writing and literature at the Universiteit Utrecht, after completing a PhD in English at the University of California, Berkeley. She writes essays and book reviews and has published them with Artforum, Bookforum, The Critical Flame, The Hairpin, Jacket2, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Across The Way With
April 26, 2021

AA BRONSON (b. Michael Tims, 1946, in Vancouver, Canada) is an artist living and working in Berlin. He founded the artists' group General Idea with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal in 1969. For 25 years, they lived and worked together, exhibiting internationally, inventing new territories for themselves: performance art, video art, queer art, AIDS art. Since Felix and Jorge died of AIDS-related illness in 1994, AA has exhibited as a solo artist, often collaborating with younger generations. His work has addressed death, loss and mourning through performance and installation. Most recently he has returned to General Idea's AIDS works and continued in the context of a second pandemic.

Across The Way With
March 29, 2021

MERCEDES AZPILICUETA is an Argentine visual and performance artist based in Amsterdam. Her practice has spanned theatrical mises-en-scènes and video installations, textile sculptures and drawing, sound works and 3D animation. With a particular interest in notions of the vulnerable or collective body, and the primal or dissident voice, her works have drawn inspiration from sources as diverse as Baroque painting, text messaging, medieval tapestries, street slang, and literary fiction, as well as singular figures including the Italian art critic and feminist activist Carla Lonzi (1931–1982), the Argentine-French performance artist Lea Lublin (1929–1999), the French futurist Valentine de Saint-Point (1875–1953), and the Costa Rican-born Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas (1919–2012).

Across The Way With
March 2, 2021

HIMALI SINGH SOIN is a writer and artist based between London and Delhi. She uses metaphors from outer space and the natural environment to construct imaginary cosmologies of interferences, entanglements, deep voids, debris, delays, alienation, distance, and intimacy. In doing this, she thinks through ecological loss and the loss of home, seeking shelter somewhere in the radicality of love. Her speculations are performed in audio-visual, immersive environments.

Across The Way With
September 28, 2020
Across The Way With
September 21, 2020

ADELAIDE BANNERMAN is a curator based in London, and is currently in residence with Phytology Cultural Institute at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, planning a site-specific residency and public programme for the site between 2021-22.She is editing and reading here extracts from their publication Viaduktens Avsked (Farewell to the Viaduct) and specifically, the letters exchanged between members of the artist-research group Hiroko Tsuchimoto, Alicja Rogalska, Malin Ståhl and Anita Wernström who since 2018 have been collaborating on a series of public art projects in Östersund, central Sweden. Their performance-practices critically consider public space, people, and movement and are commissioned by IntraGalactic arts collective in collaboration with Public Art Agency Sweden.

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